Dhaka, Bangladesh
RAB expands raid on C'nawabganj's Alatali Char

RAB expands raid on C'nawabganj's Alatali Char

RAB has expanded its operation at the 'militant hideout' on Alatali Char, a river island in Chapainawabganj, reports bdnews.24.com "A substantial contingent of RAB personnel began the operation early Wednesday," said RAB-5 Commanding Officer Lt Col Mahabubul Alam. Three suspected militants died on Tuesday during a RAB operation on a tin-roofed house on Alatali Char. The house caught fire and burned to the ground after several explosions went off inside during an intermittent exchange of gunfire. The bodies, some explosives and weapons were recovered from the site afterwards. According to RAB official Mahabubul, a few thousand residences are on the island. Wednesday's RAB operation is to investigate homeowners on the island, the presence of outsiders and any stash of explosives. "The operation will also warn the residents against militants and terrorists." Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh or JMB set up the house on the remote river island six months back, according to RAB spokesman Commander Mufti Mahmud Khan. "They would train their operatives in making bombs inside the house and then supply the explosives across the country," he told reporters. The elite force had been keeping watch on the hideout for quite some time now, following information gleaned from detained militants, he said. Aided by locals, the RAB personnel surrounded the hideout around 3am Wednesday. They called on the militants to surrender but the militants opened fire and hurled two grenades, Khan said. "The house, made of tin and bamboo, caught fire during the gunfire exchange." A bomb disposal unit searched the rubble in the morning and found body parts of three men. RAB believes the suspects worked as JMB operatives but their identities are yet to be confirmed, said RAB-5 Commanding Officer Lt Col Mahabubul Alam. Alatali Union Ward-5 member Mizbahul Haq said Alatali had been popular lately among people who came here for hunting birds and taking photos. RAB has detained homeowner Nazma Begum, wife of Rashikul, her father Khorshed Alam and mother Minara Begum for questioning. "Some of the tourists introduced themselves as NGO workers. They used to stay at Rashikul's place overnight," said Haq.

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